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Both North Korea and its sister in the South had a single goal: to sign peace. What progress was made in 2018?
2018 was a hectic year in terms of political relations. On the one hand, NATO has been a battle center between the United States and Turkey, for the sanctions that the US Government has imposed on the Republic of Iran, and the defense of the Turkish Government to it.
Leer en español: Corea del Norte y Corea del Sur: en busca de paz
On the other side of the world, the Venezuelan exodus does not stop and the neighboring countries have not hesitated to show their nonconformity and rejection with the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela.
However, good news has emerged on the Asian continent, specifically on the Korean peninsula. Relations between the two Koreas (North and South) have been improving during this year, since, in January, according to the BBC, the North Korean president, Kim Jong-un, accepted that he was "open to dialogue" with his sister from the south.
Now, before Kim Jong-un thought about opening relations with South Korea, he first had to present a mediatic excuse and brotherhood between the two nations, and that better than that excuse was sport.
In February of 2018, both Koreas paraded together as a single delegation at the Winter Olympics, which took place in PyeongChang (South Korea). This was the first great rapprochement between both nations in this year.
"As we have all witnessed during the Winter Olympics, sports gave the opportunity to initiate better inter-Korean relations," said Jeon Choong Ryul, general secretary-general of the Sports and Olympic Committee of South Korea (KSOC).
According to Soain's El Pais, this brotherhood was the trigger for both Koreas to think about dealing with the issue of peace.
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Leap of faith
With all this, there is no doubt that the most important event in the relationship between the two countries took place on April 27 when, for the first time since 2007, their presidents met. Thus, the main reason was in favor of the dialogue about a true peace treaty in the peninsula. Kim Jong-un, crossed the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas to be received by his namesake from the South, Moon Jae-in.
According to El Tiempo, the historical fact is summarized in the so-called Declaration of Panmunjom, which, in summary, has as its fundamental goal to improve relations between the Koreas and affirm before the world that "there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula" , as announced in the second point of the statement.
It should be remembered that the conflict between the two nations began in 1950, but never ended officially. Although in 1953 there was an armistice that ended the war, a peace agreement was never signed, so the peninsula has been in 'war' for more than six decades.
But just as there was an advance, the peaceful treatment was also about to end in May this year, after a military test conducted by South Korea, in conjunction with the United States. The military exercises took place in South Korean territory on May 15, so Kim Jong-un decided to cancel the meeting he would have with Moon Jae-in, the next day.
"The reason for the suspension of these talks is due to the alleged development of joint military exercises between Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and Washington, the capital of the United States," explained the Central Telegraph Agency of North Korea (KCNA). acronym in English).
KCNA also explained that these maneuvers would have been taken as "a flagrant challenge to the Declaration of Panmunjom", as they were "an intentional military provocation that goes against the positive political events of the Korean peninsula".
However, according to the newspaper La República, the biggest fear was that the North Korean regime also decided to cancel its conversation with Donald Trump, on June 12, in Singapore. Fortunately, the meeting was held and with it one of the most important conversations of recent years, regarding the treatment and dismantling of nuclear weapons.
During the rest of the year, according to the newspaper El Comercio, the leaders of both countries had two more meetings; the same in which the relationship between both governments was strengthened, as well as the idea of a peninsula much more united politically and socially.
An example of this was the symbolic celebration of the railroad junction at Phanmun station, in the border city of Kaesong, which seeks to link the territories of both Koreas again. Representatives of the two countries met in this place to establish what is considered a reopening of the transport routes in the region.
Sputnik (a Russian news agency) reported that "in 2003 the railroads of the two Koreas were connected after half a century of national fracture, but after the change of government in Seoul and the development of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang, the project was stopped. " That is why to resume this union, after 15 years, represents an advance towards achieving true reconciliation between the two sister nations.
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
Translated from "Corea del Norte y Corea del Sur: en busca de paz"